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Hennepin County investing millions in Lake Street redevelopment plans

Hennepin County was just granted $12 million in federal funds to invest in a Lake Street improvements project.

MINNEAPOLIS — There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation of what’s to come for one of Minneapolis' most culturally diverse corridors. 

"Do not sleep on Lake Street," said Destinee Shelby, owner of the The Kitchen by Baked Brand, a restaurant on Lake St. 

It's a street which was ground zero during the civil unrest after George Floyd's murder, spending the last two years in recovery mode. 

"The level of devastation that we’ve experienced isn’t something that you can overcome in one year," explained Lake Street Councilmember Russ Adams, while out at the Open Streets East Lake street event Saturday. "The idea is to kind of bring a full recovery back.”

For Adams, investments in Lake Street’s redevelopment is an all-hands-on-deck deal involving the city and county in order to see local businesses in the area thrive. 

Hennepin County was just granted $12 million in federal funds to invest in the Lake Street improvements project. Part of that project involves expanding the B-line bus rapid transit system, providing more access to destinations on Lake street.

RELATED: $2.2 billion announced for roads, bridges, bike lanes across US

"People that don’t have transportation, that opens that up to them as well," said Shelby. 

While also making the street safer for pedestrians as well as easing the flow of traffic by converting the street into a single lane road in both directions, with left turning lanes at each intersection.

Something Shelby says is long overdue. 

"When it is packed on Lake Street, it is sometimes frustrating. The way I drive on Lake Street, I'm like in and out, in and out trying to make it on time," said Shelby. 

At a time when the best is yet to come. 

"It is very needed because this is a great place for businesses, community, events like this and without those improvements it's kind of hard to continue to do stuff like that," said Shelby. 

"We’re really excited about mayor Frey's announcement for his budget on Monday, we’re going to look very closely to see public safety, business recovery, all of those could combine to help bring Lake street to where we want it to be," said Adams. 

Construction for the Lake Street improvements project is expected to begin next year, with the B-line rapid transit system in full operation by 2024.

For more information on some of the redevelopment happenings with the Lake Street Council, click here

RELATED: Minneapolis City Council approves Hennepin Avenue redesign plan layout

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